Here at Yum Asia we just launched the Zojirushi BB-HAQ10 Breadmaker to our UK and European customers so let’s start looking at more about Bread.

Much has been written about the origins of bread, and through fermentation technology and the evolution of baking itself, there are hundreds of different varieties today being baked out of ovens all over the world. What follows here is a brief summary of the kinds of bread that can be baked with our breadmakers. These basics can be enhanced and tweaked in unlimited ways just by adding some ingredients and a little imagination.

Basic Bread
The basic ingredients for making any bread are the same: bread flour, yeast, water and sugar. Yeast, a micro organism, is probably the most important. The dried yeast used in baking bread is dormant until water is added to activate it. The yeast starts to “eat” the sugar and releases carbon dioxide bubbles, which causes the bread to rise. Kneading the dough makes the gluten in bread flour elastic, which captures the bubbles like a balloon and makes the holes in the bread. That’s how we get bread that is fluffy and soft.

Wheat Bread
Whole wheat flour is said to be more nutritious and have more health benefits than regular bread flour because whole grains are a natural source of protein as well as a source of carbohydrates. Because whole wheat flour has less gluten than bread flour, adding vital wheat gluten helps to give the bread structure and elasticity for the desired chewiness. This is critical when recipes call for extra ingredients like nuts, dried fruit or seeds. Adding molasses also helps to give it a milder flavor, as whole wheat flour has a distinct taste.

Gluten Free Bread
Recently, there has been a surge in the number of people with coeliac disease, or gluten intolerance. Gluten free bread is made for those who cannot process gluten. It is made using gluten free flours such as rice flour or starch. But how does the bread rise if there is no gluten? The key ingredient is xanthan gum. It is commonly used as a food thickening agent, but also helps give bread its structure. New types of gluten free flour are being introduced into the market every day, which help make tastier gluten free bread.

Quick Bread
Even though we are all busy day in and day out, we need to make sure we watch what we eat. Here’s a quick way to make freshly baked bread. Quick rise bread is made using quick rise yeast (or rapid rise yeast), which rises faster than regular yeast bread. Quick rise yeast is processed differently than active dry yeast so that it becomes active faster, and proofs the bread dough faster. Try baking bread using quick rise yeast in our breadmaker; you may be surprised at how fast and easy it is.

Dough
Dough in short is unbaked bread. Tasty bread comes from a good batch of dough that is kneaded and proofed in a timely manner. Dough can be turned into a variety of breads including French baguettes, bagels, breadsticks, donuts, focaccia and much more. If you want to make your own pizza dough, a breadmaker can do it for you. Then all that remains is to top it off and enjoy!